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The Ninth Configuration (1980)

A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for mentally ill and A.W.O.L. U.S. soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live ... See full summary »


William Peter Blatty (novel), William Peter Blatty (screenplay)

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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Stacy Keach ... Col. Vincent Kane
Scott Wilson ... Capt. Billy Cutshaw
Jason Miller ... Lt. Frankie Reno
Ed Flanders ... Col. Richard Fell
Neville Brand ... Maj. Marvin Groper
George DiCenzo ... Capt. Fairbanks
Moses Gunn ... Maj. Nammack
Robert Loggia ... Lt. Bennish
Joe Spinell ... Lt. Spinell
Alejandro Rey ... Lt. Gomez
Tom Atkins ... Sgt. Krebs
Steve Sandor ... 1st Cyclist (Stanley)
Richard Lynch ... 2nd Cyclist (Richard)
Gordon Mark Gordon Mark ... Sgt. Gilman
William Lucking ... Highway Patrolman


A new commanding officer arrives at a remote castle serving as an insane asylum for mentally ill and A.W.O.L. U.S. soldiers where he attempts to rehabilitate them by allowing them to live out their crazy fantasies while combatting his own long-suppressed insanity. Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


How Do You Fight A War Called Madness? See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

29 February 1980 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane See more »

Filming Locations:

Vienna, Austria See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Ninth Configuration See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (re-issue) | (combined extended) | (1982)

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)


Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


William Peter Blatty has said that he considers this movie to be the true sequel to The Exorcist (1973) as opposed to a mere follow-up. The novel and film of "The Exorcist" deals with the existence of both good and evil, "The Ninth Configuration" deals with the mystery of good, and the third novel, "Legion", deals with the human's punishment of evil for original sin. Captain Cutshaw is the same astronaut whom Regan warns "You're gonna die up there" in "The Exorcist". See more »


The Inmates: Hail, Caesar!
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Alternate Versions

First version seen in US during general release was distributed by Warner Brothers and ran 112 minutes. It contained following differences from the 118 min. director's cut seen on the 2002 DVD:
  • Soundtrack in Stereo
  • Opens with Warner Brothers logo
  • Credits sequence immediately follows logo and does not feature brief "computer print-out" sound fx
  • Ed Flanders' opening narration over master shot of castle immediately follows scene of Cutshaw awakening from nightmare and looking out at the sunrise, and then cuts to the wacky assembly of the men in the courtyard, which plays straight through.
  • Joke about Cutshaw's squeeze-bulb-horn cane being a "foghorn" is absent
  • No suspenseful music during Kane's introduction to the group and initial entry into the castle
  • Sound effect of chips crunching in Cutshaw's pocket absent from sound mix after the first indication
  • Cutshaw's "Show me a Catholic..." line is delivered in alternate, medium angle take
  • Fell's dialog about the men having high IQs and Kane's dissertation on evil and suffering is absent. After Fell discusses Reno it cuts directly to his joking suggestion of shock treatment
  • Reno and Spinnell's interchange regarding types of dogs for Shakespearean roles has music playing in background, is preceded by an exterior of the castle at night, and runs longer to show Cutshaw enter and add "Reno, in need you", to which Reno replies, "You need me? Hell, I need me!"
  • Reno's line to Cutshaw in the tree, regarding "ski tracks on the table" is absent
  • Lunar crucifixion dream is shown with rain falling throughout, and runs slightly longer
  • When Kane looks over at the chair, the muted calls of "Vincent!" and "Oh God, I love..." are absent from the soundtrack
  • Groper's complaints to Kane about the men are heard off-screen as Fell is seen breaking down outside Kane's office, and the scene inside the office with Kane reading the love letter is absent
  • Fairbanks trying to get a soda from the Pepsi machine is seen without hearing Reno calling for Kane and insulting Fell, which is then seen directly afterward, on-screen, before the Hamlet dissertation
  • During Reno's Hamlet dissertation, Reno insulting Fell ("coextensive with Nero's ass") is absent
  • Fairbanks complimenting the atoms in water is absent
  • The Frankenstein-masked Cutshaw has an extra line to Groper on the soundtrack after he "claims this swamp for Poland"
  • Scene of Reno trying to teach sheep Shakespeare is absent
  • As the Chain Gang parties at the bar, there is a shot of topless biker women with painted nipples dancing, in lieu of the shot of the nameless victim (seen bound and gagged in the back of a pick-up truck at the film's beginning) nodding his head
  • The exterior shot of Kane arriving at the bar runs slightly longer
  • After the bar fight, an interior scene of Kane and Cutshaw returning to the castle precedes the shot of the police car racing up to the castle. In the scene, Cutshaw lets Kane, who is wearing Cutshaw's letterman jacket like a cape, inside the main hall and they both slowly ascend the stairs to Kane's quarters
  • When Cutshaw returns to the castle in the epilogue, the exterior scene cuts to the interior at the point where Cutshaw is just entering Kane's office. The scene with Cutshaw in the main hall is absent.
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Referenced in The Writer/Producer/Director (2016) See more »


When You Were Sweet Sixteen
Written by James Thornton
Arranged & Adapted by Barry De Vorzon
See more »

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User Reviews

It Gets Better
2 April 2000 | by Selena-KyleSee all my reviews

I have seen this movie more times than I can count, and have found that it gains something EACH AND EVERY time I view it. I am still astounded that it hasn't received the recognition it deserves.

I can't recall another film, ever, that has held up so well on repeat viewing or that has affected me as much as this one has.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
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